‘Use your words’: Vocalization and moral order in an oral preschool classroom for deaf or hard-of-hearing children Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractThis ethnographic study examines deaf or hard-of-hearing children's socialization in an oral classroom, a setting designed to promote spoken language as the primary mode of communication. Drawing from nine months of observations, I describe how the meanings assigned to children's vocalizations create a system of values and judgements that organizes and regulates classroom behavior. Specifically, vocalization itself is oriented to as a moral practice that is necessary for the mutual understanding and accomplishment of classroom activities. Informed by ethnomethodological and language-socialization perspectives, I illustrate how participants co-construct a local moral order wherein students are held accountable for ‘using their words’ to perform social actions. Analyses discuss three interactional contexts where moral issues are routinely constructed as contingent on and resolvable through vocalization—children's help-seeking, children's disputes, and negotiations of classroom participation—thereby shaping children's understanding of language use and reflecting broader institutional expectations and ideology regarding oral communication. (Moral order, preschool children, socialization)*

publication date

  • February 1, 2023

has restriction

  • hybrid

Date in CU Experts

  • February 1, 2023 2:44 AM

Full Author List

  • Montiegel K

author count

  • 1

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0047-4045

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-8013

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 107

end page

  • 127


  • 52


  • 1